How does your nonprofit account for unemployment insurance?

July 31, 2014

How does your nonprofit account for unemployment insurance?

Risk management is certainly a popular topic for nonprofits that want to remain agile and effective. However, there’s one area that tends to be overlooked by such groups: state unemployment taxes (SUTA). The two traditional options for covering the SUTA obligation are paying into the state fund, as a for-profit business would, or electing to become a reimbursing employer and paying out unemployment claims directly, dollar for dollar. Paying the tax into the state fund often means overspending on unemployment taxes and losing money even if your organization has low or no unemployment claims in a given year. The reimbursing employer strategy provides more financial control, but can be extremely risky if an organization experiences a rise in unemployment.

First Nonprofit Group (FNG) offers the safest available programs that mix the best aspects of these two approaches into a risk-averse, cost-effective solution. By providing far more control over unemployment costs, FNG alternatives help nonprofits save money while also protecting them from pooled risk. By employing the use of surety and insurance coverage products and avoiding the cost-pooling elements of contributing to a SUTA fund, nonprofits don’t waste money that could otherwise be spent on operational and project budgets, as well as future claims. With a managed savings or insurance plan, nonprofits can carry such funds as an asset in their books and can even borrow against it when needed. The combination of predictable fees and equal quarterly payments – instead of the heavy first- and second-quarter contributions common with SUTA funds – helps normalize contributions and lessen the financial burden on nonprofits.

First Nonprofit Group also offers the customer support that is lacking from the other options available to charitable groups. Instead of dealing with state 1-800 numbers and dedicating staff members’ valuable time to dealing with these issues, First Nonprofit Group’s customers can use the services of friendly, dedicated and experienced representatives to handle their unemployment needs.

For information on how your organization can cost-effectively meet its unemployment insurance needs, contact First Nonprofit Group at or visit

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The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We are impressed with the accuracy of their employment decisions, integrity of their employees and efficiency of their claim handling. We greatly respect and value the consistent, impressive cost savings from the utilization of their outstanding services.


Thresholds, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL